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When Should a Person with Dementia Stop Living Alone?

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It’s never easy deciding whether or not it’s time to use a senior living home to help care for a family member with dementia. 

If your loved one’s dementia is causing changes to their memory or demeanor and affects their ability to take care of themselves and socialize, it could be time to seek additional support from a memory care community

This can be a difficult decision for a family member to make, but with the guidance and advice of a medical professional, they can help you find a living situation that works for your loved one and for you as a caregiver.

Many worry that the care will not be up to their standards. At All American Assisted Living, we take an approach that can ease your worries and strengthen the quality of life for your loved one.

Early Signs

There are a series of early signs of dementia that your family and medical team should take note of that can lead to the need for memory care in a senior living community. Signs can vary, and not every person will have the same symptoms. 

The most common signs include:

  • They begin to get lost on routes they often travel, such as walking to the grocery store or in the neighborhood
  • They have trouble remembering when to eat or drink
  • They have difficulties taking their medication appropriately
  • They struggle to bathe themselves and get dressed as usual properly

There are some common questions you can ask yourself to determine if your loved one may need extra support.

Difficulty Remembering & Trouble with Words

Is your parent often tongue-tied? It’s normal for older adults to have lapses in thought here and there. But showing signs of forgetfulness every day is an early warning sign of dementia. Losing track of thoughts or having difficulty finding words in conversations can be signs of dementia. 

Trouble Learning New Tasks

If your loved one struggles to absorb and retain new information or has trouble trying a new activity, this can also be a sign.

If your loved one stops participating in new activities and noticeably struggles to grasp new concepts, bring it to your doctor’s attention.

Struggling with Finances

If bills aren’t getting paid, and problem-solving skills, such as balancing a checkbook, become challenging for your loved one, this can also be a sign of dementia. 

Losing Track of Time

Forgetting what day it is can happen to anyone, but if it consistently happens to your family member, this can be a sign of dementia. It may lead to them losing track of time on a larger scale. 

If your elderly family member constantly forgets the day, month, year, holidays, or important dates, you should document the consistency of the occurrences to discuss the lapses with their medical team.

A senior man with his daughter hugging him in a park and looking directly in the camera.

Poor Judgment & Decision-Making Skills

Odd behavior should always be documented for discussion with your doctor. Things like overspending, not wearing seat belts, leaving stoves on, and not wearing proper clothing for the weather are all signs of unsafe habits. 

We want to keep your loved one safe, and noticing the oddities can impact whether or not they need constant care.

Problems Remembering Prior Commitments

Everyone forgets something occasionally, but if it is regularly occurring with your elderly parent, be sure to document when and how often they occur. Recurring memory loss is an early sign of dementia. 

Common examples are:

  • Missing dentist or doctor’s appointments
  • Forgetting important plans with friends or family
  • Skipping maintenance appointments for the car
  • Missing physio or health-related activities

Losing Interest in Favorite Activities

Take note if your loved one has stopped attending regular activities like coffee with their friends, attending weekly card games, or no longer wishes to do activities they love, like gardening or reading. This is not normal behavior and should be noted. Avoiding social activities can indicate that it’s time for further care. 

Repeating Themselves

Have you noticed verbal repetition in your parent’s thoughts or phrases? 

It can be as simple as saying the same compliment repeatedly, such as, “I love those flowers you gave me.” Repeating stories, questions, and thoughts frequently can also be a sign of dementia. 

Get Them the Care They Need

If you have noticed more than one of these symptoms in your elderly parent or family, our memory care community may be suitable for your situation.

All American Assisted Living at Warwick is designed to make the transition from living alone or with a caregiver to constant care with our specialists comfortable for you and your loved one. Our training, daily activities, and events can provide a well-rounded environment with opportunities for growth, socializing, and learning new skills. If you are debating whether your loved one needs full-time care, take our quiz to find out our recommendations. Contact us and become a part of the All American Way.

Written by kaplan

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